Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Australian Open Notes: Day Three Henin and Wozniacki Advance

It was a case of old being new on day three at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

Belgian Justine Henin out slugged Russian starlet Elena Dementieva to progress through to the third round. Henin coughed up two match points on serve before squeezing past Dementieva in a tie break.

Neither of these ladies is known to be ruthless in closing out matches and that was evident again here that both seemed ready to lose.

The disappointment continues for Dementieva's camp. No matter how much promise she's shown throughout her career, it seems increasingly unlikely that she'll never win a Grand Slam. She's been twice a runner up(French and US Open), but both came way back in 2004.

As I predicted yesterday, Caroline Wozniacki had little trouble with Aleksandra Wozniak. Wozniacki knocked off Wozniak off four out of five times last year and really has her number.

Maria Kirilenko backed up her first round victory over Maria Sharapova with a solid straight sets victory over Yvonne Meusburger. I'm happy to see that, nothing annoys me more than when a player upsets a bigger name player and then falls apart in the next round. It's very important to build on a big win and show that it wasn't a fluke, and Kirilenko has done that here.

She should be able to advance past Roberta Vinci in the third round too.


Two for three from yesterday is not a bad start, so here's to improving that record today.

Day four features some absolute cracking match ups so let's see what we can do.


German Sabine Lisicki had an injury plagued 2009 and the big server is expected to be a force this year if she can stay healthy. She lost only five games in her opening match and I expect her to blow past Alberta Brianti in straight sets.


Ok, I really only want to talk about the Ana Ivanovic and Gisela Dulko matchup because it's the sexiest match up on Thursday. Ever since she won the French Open in '08, Ivanovic's game has been in decline, especially her weak serve but she's still young and I think she can recapture her form that saw her a runner up here also in 2008. Dulko is the Argentine stunner, who has never made it past the second round in Melbourne.

So, Ivanovic should win here, but it will no doubt be tougher than it should be for the 20th ranked player against an unseeded one, but don't expect the crowd to mind. It should be a full house and with these two babes sweating out, nobody will mind if this match is a looooong three setter, with the Serb to prevail.


Three-time semi finalist in Melbourne, Tommy Haas is one of the oldest dudes on the men's circuit these days and while his best days are behind him, he's still seeded 18th here. However, I really like his opponent, Serb Janko Tipsarevic. He's got a big, powerful game and I think he could be in for a big year. It won't be a stroll, but take Tipsarevic in four.

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